Anti-Brexit figurehead GINA MILLER issues a final rallying call ahead of this weekend’s protest
There is no question in my mind that this Saturday’s People’s Vote ‘March For The Future’ will break records. The reason is simple: there is a record-breaking number of people in our country who feel utterly disenfranchised politically. They feel ignored and taken for granted.
They are expected to pay their taxes, but they are not being permitted to speak. Those that have children – or who simply don’t have a total disregard for those that will follow us – are horrified that the current policy of our government on Brexit, and, yes, our opposition, is to impoverish them, to diminish their life chances, to throw them into the abyss.
Many of those who will turn out to march will be individuals who voted Leave, but who keep telling me that they never voted for chaos, which is, of course, what they now recognise they are getting. The Brexit politicians have turned the all too ill-defined mandate they were given to take the UK out of the EU into a moveable feast.
They are willing to sacrifice almost anything on the altar of Brexit, however terrifyingly right-wing they might be. People will be marching because at the moment – and this is damning of our democracy – they are not being allowed any other way to express themselves. So each and every one who turns out in London on Saturday will have a clear and simple four-word message to all of our MPs about what they are collectively doing – or are allowing to happen – in the name of Brexit: NOT IN MY NAME.
Our politicians really don’t get it. I watched with dismay as Theresa May made her statement about Brexit on Monday. There were MPs actually making jokes and laughing out loud. Those of us who live in the real world – who are already seeing good people losing their jobs, families being torn apart, our bright, energetic young people looking to move out of the country, invaluable staff who have worked in our NHS and other essential services for years quitting – recognise that this is no laughing matter. In my whole life, I have never seen the House of Commons looking so out of touch and farcical.
What is so telling about our politics is the unlikely rebels it is creating. It shows the extent to which those on the extremes – the right and the left – are now calling the shots. Dominic Grieve is a lovely man, but no one a few years ago could have imagined that the former attorney general – middle-of-the-road, mild-mannered, deliberative, cautious – would one day be branded an ‘enemy of the people’. The same might be said of Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston, or, on the other side of the House, individuals such as David Lammy and Yvette Cooper.
Soubry insists that those ‘economically conservative, but socially liberal’ folk we used to hear about in her party have not become extinct and her continued presence in the House proves it. The fact is they are no longer in the Conservative mainstream. Grieve, meanwhile, has been bemused at how the party he joined and loved – a party noted for its pragmatism – had become quite so ideological since June 23 2016.
As for Labour, I ceased to be a supporter and member of it not long after the referendum when I realised the party had metamorphosed into something I could no longer recognise. I had always believed passionately in Labour’s mission to create a fairer and more just society, and had been an active policy contributor, but I could see all too clearly that was irreconcilable with Brexit. How could the party of the many and not the few find itself to all intents and purposes as comrades of Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay brothers, Jacob Rees-Mogg et al?
I know of too many people now who are turning off news programmes because they are starting to find it all just too depressing. To all of them, I say ‘turn out on Saturday’. This will be the March of the Moderates. Look around you and recognise that you are not alone, and celebrate, too, that you have not changed. You have not given up on the values you hold dear. It’s our politics that has changed. We have to see normality, reasonableness and just plain common sense take back control.
Gina Miller is founder of the campaign group End the Chaos